Hackers tried to break into WHO, which faces more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks

Hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier in March, as the COVID-19 pandemic spread, Reuters reports. Security experts blame an advanced cyber-espionage hacker group known as DarkHotel.

A senior agency official says the WHO has been facing a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks since the coronavirus pandemic began. Read the rest

Hackers say they breached Russian contractor, got details on IoT hacking project for Russia spy agency

• 'Fronton' is the FSB's IoT botnet project

These are the first words ever heard in a feature film

“Wait a minute... Wait a minute... you ain’t heard nothin’ yet.”

In 1927, Al Jolson spoke those words in The Jazz Singer, marking the end of the silent film age. (Of course, that film also featured Jolson in blackface which unfortunately was common at the time.) From The Guardian:

Just a year before (The Jazz Singer), Warners had made Don Juan, starring Douglas Fairbanks and Mary Astor, which didn’t exactly set the Hudson river on fire, despite sound effects like the clash of swords or chairs being thrown – all to the accompaniment of the New York Philharmonic.

The reason Sam Warner, the technical genius of the brothers, thought that adding a human voice would make all the difference was a series of shorts brought in as a late addition to the Don Juan programme. Giovanni Martinelli, principal tenor at the Metropolitan Opera, sang Pagliacci. The leader of the Philharmonic played his violin and Al Jolson sang When the Red, Red Robin (Comes Bob, Bob, Bobbin’ Along).

They were a secret success. The New York press hardly noticed, but audiences did – and loved them. What would be known as “the talkies” were coming out of the fairground.

It was Sam Warner’s idea to team up with the Western Electric company to buy its Vitaphone synchronising system. He had the faith that few others possessed, but sadly died of a mastoid infection of the brain the day before the hugely successful premiere of The Jazz Singer.

(via r/TodayILearned) Read the rest

Tesla faces order to stop making cars at California factory, under coronavirus lockdown

Tesla has agreed to cut down on the number of active workers inside Elon Musk's electric vehicle factory in Fremont, CA, but authorities say they have yet to comply with other coronavirus lockdown measures, like not making more cars right now.

“Tesla needs to comply with the health order,” said a county spokesman Wednesday. Read the rest

A neuroscientist's take on synthetic telepathy, electrified ESP, and mind control

Telepathy. ESP. The ability to communicate thoughts, feelings, or experiences without using our known sensory channels is a timeless superpower. Soon, advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and computer science will make some kinds of synthetic telepathy possible. Meanwhile though, methods to treat brain disorders through magnetic stimulation of brain circuits could enable crude (or eventually not-so-crude) mind control. National Institutes of Health neuroscientist R. Douglas Fields -- author of Electric Brain: How the New Science of Brainwaves Reads Minds, Tells Us How We Learn, and Helps Us Change for the Better -- wrote a brief essay for Scientific American surveying the present, past, and possible future of this strange field. From Scientific American:

Neuroscientist Marcel Just and colleagues at Carnegie Mellon University are using fMRI brain imaging to decipher what a person is thinking. By using machine learning to analyze complex patterns of activity in a person’s brain when they think of a specific number or object, read a sentence, experience a particular emotion or learn a new type of information, the researchers can read minds and know the person’s specific thoughts and emotions. “Nothing is more private than a thought,” Just says, but that privacy is no longer sacrosanct....

...The prospect of “mind control” frightens many, and brain stimulation to modify behavior and treat mental illness has a sordid history. In the 1970s neuropsychologist Robert Heath at Tulane University inserted electrodes into a homosexual man’s brain to “cure” him of his homosexual nature by stimulating his brain’s pleasure center.

Read the rest

Coronavirus: Telecom Italia says internet traffic up 70%+, mostly online games like Fortnite, Call of Duty

The death toll in Italy's coronavirus outbreak today passed 1,000.

Schools throughout Italy are completely shut down, which is reportedly driving a surge in internet traffic as bored kids forced to stay indoors turn to online games. Read the rest

Clearview AI gave accounts to ex Trump staffer, GOPers, Holocaust denier

Clearview AI said its facial recognition tool was only for law enforcement, but Buzzfeed News reports they gave accounts to former Trump staffer Jason Miller, as well as various Republican political operatives and a figure known to be a Holocaust denier. Read the rest

Twitter uses 'manipulated media' label for first time on clipped Biden video RTd by by Trump

It's about freaking time. Read the rest

Australia sues Facebook, says Cambridge Analytica scandal violated privacy of over 300,000 Australians

“Facebook’s default settings facilitated the disclosure of personal information, including sensitive information, at the expense of privacy.”

Investors used Clearview AI app as a personal toy for spying on public

“Before Clearview Became a Police Tool, It Was a Secret Plaything of the Rich.” That's the title of the New York Times piece, and that's the horrifying reality of how artificial intelligence and facial recognition are already being used in ways that violate your expectations of privacy in the world. Read the rest

Amazon says employee in Seattle has coronavirus and remains in quarantine

A person who works at Amazon.com's corporate headquarters in Seattle, Washington, has tested positive for COVID-19, said the company. Read the rest

Coronavirus: Wall Street ends worst week since 2008, Dow closes down 350+ points

Recession fears are spreading, along with COVID-19. The coronavirus outbreak and unknowns about preparedness caused massive financial losses this week.

The Dow closed down 350+ points.

The S&P 500 dropped for the seventh day in a row, and posted its biggest drop in a single week since the 2008 financial crisis.

More from Reuters:

The S&P 500 fell for the seventh straight day on Friday and the benchmark index suffered its biggest weekly drop since the 2008 global financial crisis on growing fears the fast-spreading coronavirus could lead to a recession, although stocks cut losses at the end of the day’s session.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 356.88 points, or 1.39%, to 25,409.76, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 24.7 points, or 0.83%, to 2,954.06 and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC added 0.89 points, or 0.01%, to 8,567.37.

Read more:S&P 500 drops for seventh day, posts biggest weekly fall since 2008 crisis Read the rest

CoronaCoin: A coronavirus speculative deathwatch cryptocurrency

“CoronaCoin” exists. Some cryptocurrency developers on 4Chan cooked up a digital coin that allows traders to bet on the global coronavirus outbreak, based on how many people become infected and/or die. Read the rest

Coronavirus: Amazon limits employee travel, Google bans travel to Italy, Iran, Japan, South Korea; Facebook cancels event

Google employee in Switzerland has confirmed case of coronavirus

ICE ran facial recognition searches on millions of Maryland drivers' photos without court approval; activists say they're targeting immigrants

ICE has done facial recognition searches on millions of photos Maryland drivers without court approval. They appear to be targeting immigrants who sought driver’s licenses after 2013. Read the rest

Amazon bans 1+ million coronavirus products for false claims, addresses price-gouging for masks and sanitizer

Amazon.com has banned the sale of over a million products in the last few weeks for inaccurate coronavirus health claims, the company told Reuters on Thursday. Read the rest

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, Verizon face FCC fines after probe finds they failed to protect user location data

AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, and Verizon are among the telecommunications carriers facing hundreds of millions of dollars in fines from the Federal Communications Commission after a federal investigation found the companies didn't do enough to protect the location data of users. Read the rest

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